Mats Persson is Director of Open Europe.
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It has become clear, over the past few months, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to reopen the EU Treaties in order to beef up the rules on eurozone economic governance, giving the EU institutions, including possibly the European Court of Justice, the power to impose and enforce semi-automatic sanctions when euro states break the budget rules. There’s no concrete proposal for Treaty change yet on the table, but the Germans will most certainly want to seek a “limited” change to the EU Treaties without the need for referenda across Europe.
Irrespective of the merits of the proposals, with German money necessary to keep the eurozone show on the road, you can understand why Merkel feels the need to take some sort of action. 'Never again' is the implicit lead theme. But where does all of this leave Britain?
Last week, David Cameron, who has the power to veto Merkel’s demands as they require unanimous consent, flew to Berlin, presumably to tell the German Chancellor what he wants. Both the German and British press had a field day with the alleged tensions between the two countries. German tabloid Bild – the most widely read paper in Europe – led the pack asking, “What is Britain still doing in the EU anyway?”